The dual nature of tango

2009 May 3
by Simba
Angel & Devil by airpark, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License by  airpark

I often wonder why tango is so attractive, why I (and others with me) got so obsessed with it. Why we never tire of it.

In part, I think it has to do with the infinite depth that can be found within it, and part of the source of this I believe is the dual nature of tango, or its apparent paradoxes. Making it difficult to explain or describe what tango is and isn’t. Conflicting forces that are present simultaneously.

Sorrow and happiness.
Confidence and humbleness.
Quiet and loud.

Calmness and violence.
Domination and submission.
Understatement and exagerration.

Elegance and crudeness.
Simplicity and complexity.
Playfulness and sincerity.

Modernity and tradition.
Decency and frivolity.
Proximity and distance.

Suspense and release.
Old and new.
Life and death.

Me — and you.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 May 5

    I have been ruminating about tango in a slightly different way.

    Traditionalists versus innovators
    Old-timers versus newcomers
    Milonguero versus nuevo
    Social versus exhibition
    Improvised versus choreographed

  2. 2009 May 6

    Hola Janis,

    yes that would be the usual suspects, right? 🙂

    I tried to stay away from them, hoping to make a small contribution in getting people out of the trenches, realizing that differences exist within the tango. They contribute to the profoundness of tango as well, even if they are often subject for superfluous quarreling.

    Note that I used the word and insted of versus, to make the point that they are all part of tango, even if your preferences may go in one or the other direction.

  3. 2009 May 7

    This is exactly why your posting had an impact. The “and” changed my perspective.

  4. 2009 May 10

    I’m glad to hear that! May you have happy and sad dances tonight 😉

    Un abrazo,

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